Two people walk into Raven Recycling with recyclables in Whitehorse on Sept. 11. As of Oct. 1 the facility will be taking over duties of electronic and electrical recycling in the Yukon from the municipality. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Raven Recycling set to take over collecting e-waste

Raven Recycling Society will take over disposal of electronic and electrical waste beginning Oct. 1

Raven Recycling will take your e-waste beginning Oct. 1, and John Streicker, the Yukon’s minister of community services, said it’s just the first step in an ongoing process.

“I think of it as a journey and this is a step along the way,” Streicker said, expressing excitement about the plan coming together for a facility to manage electronic and electrical waste.

Previously, the Whitehorse dump had accepted these items, for a tipping fee, but with new Designated Materials Regulations coming into effect on Oct. 1, the Yukon government put out a tender in August to find a company to take on e-waste. That tender closed Aug. 23.

Raven will be accepting electronic and electrical items and shipping them to a facility in Alberta.

Raven will also have a service to the communities, said Streicker, though he said he didn’t know how the logistics would play out in terms of collection or frequency of pick-up.

This service will be free of charge, he said, because buyers will pay a tax on electronic and electrical items at the time of purchase.

Streicker said this approach tends to work better because people are more likely to properly dispose of e-waste when they know they have already paid for it. This is the case in British Columbia, he said, where the Yukon government looked in coming up with its own plan for the territory.

“It’s hard for us to get as cheap as B.C. because we are under 40,000 (people) and we’re further away.”

Still, he said the target is 70 to 80 per cent cost recovery based on user fees being paid up front. Ideally, he said, companies producing electronics and electrical products would cover those costs, but it’s difficult in the Yukon. He said the next best thing is to have users pay up front.

He said the early days of the transition from city dump to Raven will be challenging, but the City of Whitehorse and Yukon government will work together through social media and signage to let residents know about the change.

It will be a process of working through the transition and constantly monitoring the service to make sure its doing what it needs to do.

“We know that it won’t be perfect, we just know that it’ll be better than it is today,” he said.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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